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Using Personas to Boost Online Marketing and SEO


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More and more, online marketers are using buyer personas – fictitious characters that reflect various user types within their target demographic- to effectively reach new and existing customers. Similar to a marketing persona, creating a search persona helps marketers to accurately identify their target customer, to understand how users are actually searching for their business online, and to ultimately drive higher conversion.

Optify and search marketing now have partnered to host a free webcast on the use of personas in search marketing. The live webcast was led by Erez barak, VP of Products and Co-Founder at Optify, and Vanessa Fox, a contributing editor to Search Engine Land and author of the book Marketing in the Age of Google. Following the presentation, both speakers participated in a live Q&A session gathered from the webinar attendees.

This webcast explored how to build and manage search personas to optimize your search marketing campaigns. Download this presentation to learn:
- What is a search persona?
- How to build a persona to reflect your user
- How to optimize your SEO using personas

Read more at:

Published in: Technology, Business

Using Personas to Boost Online Marketing and SEO

  1. 1. Using  Personas  to  Boost  Online   Marke2ng  and  SEO   Wednesday,  September  21,  2011   Speakers:     Vanessa  Fox,  Search  Engine  Land,     Erez  Barak,  Op2fy  ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  2. 2. Vanessa  Fox,     Search  Engine  Land    »  Vanessa  Fox  is  a  contribu4ng  editor  to  Search  Engine   Land  and  author  of  the  book  Marke&ng  in  the  Age  of   Google.    »  She  owns  Nine  By  Blue,  which  provides  educa4on,   consul4ng,  and  tools  for  building  search  best  prac4ces   into  organiza4ons  at  the  technical  and  strategic  level.     ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  3. 3. What  is  SEO?   What  is  UX?   §  Using  search  data  to  build  a   §  Figuring  out  who  your  users  or   comprehensive  and  effec2ve  product   customers  are,  and  how  they  think   and  content  strategy       §  GeRng  clarity  on,  and  transla2ng,   §  Engaging  with  your  audience  before   your  business  into:   they  interact  with  your  brand  or  site   •  Goals  that  make  sense  for   —  at  the  search  box   your  team     •  A  design  and  development   §  Connec2ng  with  the  right  audience   process  that  works   and  deligh2ng  them   •  Products  and  services  that     will  appeal  to  your  users     §  Taking  advantage  of  the  right  data  to   measure,  adjust,  and  improve   §  Crea2ng  clear  calls  to  ac2on   §  Designing  things  that  make  sense   to  regular  people  ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  4. 4. Personas   “ P E R S O N A S   A R E   N O T   R E A L   P E O P L E …   T H E Y   A R E   H Y P O T H E T I C A L   A R C H E T Y P E S   O F   A C T U A L   U S E R S …   D E F I N E D   W I T H   S I G N I F I C A N T   R I G O R   A N D   P R E C I S I O N . ”     —  ALAN  COOPER’S  DEFINITION  ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  5. 5. P E R S O N A S   L O O K   L I K E   D E S C R I P T I O N S   O F  P E O P L E … B E C A U S E   T H A T ’ S   W H A T   T H E Y   A R E  ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  6. 6. SEO  and  UX  Overlap   Rank Page Content Conversion and Search And Display (Audience Need) Motivation Competitive Feature Wireframes, Goal Prioritized Ad Experience Analysis & Brainstorms & Content Conversion Clarification Hoc Personas Design UX Strategy Prioritization Strategy, Etc.©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  7. 7. CREATING  SEARCHER  PERSONAS  ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  8. 8. The  Process   3X3  s4cky  notes   2  easel-­‐size  s4cky   extra-­‐fine  black   large  markers   1  yellow  pad  per   pads   sharpies     par4cipant     1  per  par4cipant   +  a  few  pads  in  other     colors  ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  9. 9. CLARIFY   BUSINESS  GOALS  ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  10. 10. What  is  the  project  goal?   What  does  success  look  like?     What  is  the  brand  objec2ve?   How  do  you  want  your  audience     to  perceive  you?     What  is  your  value  proposi2on?   What  can  you  offer  the  user?     Why  should  the  user  care?    ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  11. 11. MAP  AUDIENCES  TO  CONVERSION   EVENTS  AND  MOTIVATIONS  ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  12. 12. What  are  the  conversion  events  and  engagement  events?    What  makes  you  money  and  what  brings  people  back?    Who  are  the  key  audiences?  What  events  map  to  what  audiences?    What  mo2vates  these  audiences?  Why  do  they  want  to  do  the  things  you  want  them  to  do?  ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  13. 13. DRAFT   PERSONAS  ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  14. 14. The  yellow  s2cky  exercise  •  One  user  per  s2cky  note  •  Include  the  person  +  the  goal   IT  manager   (or  ac2vity  or  ac2on  or   assigned  to   IT  guy  assigned  to   problem)   research  possible   install  the  new   outsourced   so`ware   solu4ons  and   recommend  one   Office  worker   Small  business   person  +  goal,  ac4vity,  ac4on,  or   who  just  wants  it   owner  who  can’t   problem   to  be  easy  to  find   imagine  this   the  documents   being  worth  the   she  needs   investment   ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  15. 15. What  problems   does  your  target   audience  have?     What  tasks  are   they  trying  to   accomplish?  ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  16. 16. Categoriza2on  Exercise   Geo  +  Job  Type   Vanity Professions Category   Category   Category   Category   Audience  Need   Audience  Need   Audience  Need   Audience  Need   Audience  Need   Audience  Need   Audience  Need   Audience  Need  ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  17. 17. Sample:   Newbies Dabblers Experienced Practitioners I want to I need answers I want to I need work on I want to start customize my to specific practice yoga specific areas doing yoga own yoga questions on my schedule of my body classes New yoga Experienced Busy mom who Newbie looking student who practitioner Pregnant wants to find for local yoga doesn’t know who wants to woman wants time for yoga classes what ‘asana’ create her own yoga routines but can’t means class Practitioner Executive who Runner Mom looking who needs a travels a lot strained back for yoga to do ‘quick’ routine and wants ways and heard yoga with kids to do before to stretch would help work©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  18. 18. Use  the  pa_erns  to     create  persona  skeletons  Even  though  you  want  target  specific  needs  (you’ll  target  broader,  high  volume  search  terms),  it’s  helpful  to  think  about  what  your  audience  is  really  thinking  to  help  understand  their  mo4va4on,  engage  with  them,  and  get  them  to  convert.       Persona  1   Persona  2   Persona  3         •  Needs   •  Needs   •  Needs   See SITE Goals - Persona Session.docx for details.
  19. 19. Sample:   Becky  Busy   Pete  Purposeful   Olivia  Ohm   •  I  need  a  way  to  do  yoga   •  I  need  to  address  an   •  I  want  to  customize  my   that  fits  into  my   injury   own  classes   schedule   •  I  want  to  try  yoga   •  I  want  to  bring  yoga   •  I  want  to  do  yoga  away   before  I  ‘buy  in’   everywhere  with  me   from  the  studio   completely   •  I  want  to  learn  about   •  I  want  alterna4ves  to   •  I  need  to  learn  more   teaching  yoga   hour-­‐long  prac4ces   •  I  want  to  know  that  this   •  I  want  to  connect  with   •  I  want  a  way  to   will  work   other  people  who  love   augment  the  yoga  I  do   yoga   now  ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  20. 20. Validate  and  Expand  With  Keyword  Research   Compe22ve  research   •  What  topics  is  the  compe22on  targe2ng?   •  What  queries  does  the  compe22on  buy  AdWords  for?   •  What  does  the  compe22on  blog  about/send  email  about?   Social  media   •  What  are  people  talking  about  related  to  your  topic  area  on  Twi_er,  Facebook,  ver2cal  discussion  forums,   Q&A  sites   Insights  and  trends   •  What  are  spiking/high  volume  queries  according  to  Google  Insights?   •  What  informa2on  is  contained  in  industry  reports/market  research   Keyword  research   •  What  are  people  searching  for  and  how  are  they  searching? keyword-research-tools-marketing-in-the-age-of-google/©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  21. 21. CATEGORIZE     KEYWORD  CLUSTERS  ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  22. 22. ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  23. 23. CREATE  PERSONAS  ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  24. 24. Developing  Search  Strategy   1.  Determine  which  personas  are  most   important  to  the  business   2.  Map  query  clusters  to  personas   3.  Determine  priority  of  each  cluster  for   the  important  personas  24
  25. 25. Meet  Becky.  Becky  Busy  is  a  33-­‐year-­‐old  mother  of  two   BECKY BUSY kids  in  elementary  school.  She  works  in  sales  for  a   WEIGHTED SCORE: pharmaceu2cal  company  (she  took  2me  off  when  the  kids  were   PRIORITY: very  small,  but  now  she’s  back  to  work).  Like  everyone  she   knows,  she  juggles  about  a  zillion  ac2vi2es,  deadlines,   schedules,  goals,  responsibili2es...she’s  the  classic  modern   mom.   Before  she  had  kids,  Becky  put  a  lot  of  effort  into  her  own   health  and  well-­‐being,  but  it’s  a  lot  harder  now  that  she  has   kids.  She  wants  to  take  care  of  herself  and  ‘model’  a  healthy   lifestyle  for  the  kids,  but  she  also  wants  to  take  2me  for  herself   just  because  it  feels  good  and  makes  her  happy.  She  has  a  lot  of   stress  at  work  and  exercise  helps  her  manage.   Becky  took  several  yoga  classes  at  her  old  gym,  and  she   “I’d love to do yoga again, but I really  liked  it.  It  really  was  a  workout  too!  She  thinks  that  yoga   can’t imagine how I’ll fit it in! would  be  a  really  perfect  way  to  get  back  into  exercising  again,   but  she  simply  can’t  imagine  commiRng  to  a  class  at  a  studio.   She  knows  that  the  only  way  she’ll  really  do  yoga  is  if  she  can  fit   it  in  whenever  she  finds  some  2me.     ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  26. 26. Becky  Busy   “I’d love to do yoga again, but I can’t imagine how I’ll fit it in! Task Becky Sample search What we can provide to “Oh, by the way...” What we want Why she’ll do it Success metrics wants to queries help her accomplish her (what we can offer them to do accomplish task that she might not (related to biz think to ask for) goal) “About doing yoga at Save and track progress. •  It’s free •  # videos watched home” Professional advice onI want to do yoga dvd Watch a video •  Easy to try •  # pages viewed “Like a library of DVDs, best videos for at yoga video •  Monitor progress •  Creating a free always at your disposal” Beyond beginner,home / not in yoga books BECOME A •  Customizing account “Always fresh books in intermediate, advanced.a studio … MEMBER materials that are •  Saving/favorite your library…grow with It doesn’t have to take relevant to you •  SUBSCRIBING you…” an hour. •  Free One stop shop for yoga •  Lots of content yoga online videos. Not all teachers •  Air of authorityI want online yoga classes online videos are created equal. Save Same as above •  Monitoring Same as aboveyoga videos yoga online workouts “workouts” and track progress. progress … Customizability/ •  Centralized personalized advice. resource yoga poses We can also give you •  Return visits Specific videos / articles Attract visitors, yoga postures full workouts with each •  Easy, accurate, •  SharingI’m looking related to single poses even people yoga asanas pose. We can give you comprehensive •  Watching secondfor a specific Browsable library of poses looking for beginner to advanced •  Access to a full video (afteryoga pose Multiple definitions at simple (individual poses in training. You can track browsable library searched-for different levels of detail definitions spreadsheet) your mastery of poses. video) what is difference •  It’s free to come •  Return visits between pilates and Try it now! Videos backI have a •  Reading more yoga? Comprehensive blog / related to questions. Be in top three •  Comprehensivespecific than one article can yoga help with knowledge base This is the place to get visited yoga and crediblequestion •  sharing fibromyalgia? Discussion / ask the expert all your yoga questions sites on the web informationabout yoga •  Subscribe to RSS can you do yoga answered. •  There’s a live •  Watch a video when pregnant? person to ask ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  27. 27. Priori2zing  Query  Categories   §  How  well  does  the  cluster  relate  to  the  overall  business  goal/ message?   §  Based  on  intent,  how  likely  is  searcher  to  convert?   §  How  compe22ve  is  the  query  cluster?  (What  sites  rank  now)   §  How  difficult  would  it  be  to  add  features/func2onality  to  the  site   to  address  this  searcher  need?     §  Is  this  cluster  best  served  by  an  overall  site  message,  landing   page/category,  set  of  blog  posts,  about  page,  or  other   component?  ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  28. 28. MAPPING  PERSONAS  &  QUERY   CLUSTERS   TO  SITE  CONTENT  ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  29. 29. Mapping  Query  Clusters  to  Pages   1.  Use  “what  we  can  provide”  sec4on  to   determine  what  content  is  needed   2.  For  exis4ng  sites,  work  backwards  from  page   to  find  which  “what  we  provide”  it  matches   3.  For  this,  you  can  determine:   §  gaps  (new  pages  needed)   §  adjustments  (edits  to  exis4ng  pages  needed)   §  consolida4on  (when  mul4ple  pages  fill  the  same  need)  ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  30. 30. “I’m excited about developing Norm  Novice   applications, but where do I start?” Task  Norm  wants  to   Target  Pages   accomplish   hip://www.microso`.com/web/webmatrix/   I  want  to  build  my  first   hip://www.microso`.com/web/webmatrix/features.aspx   website   hip://www.microso`.com/web/gallery/install.aspx?appid=webmatrix   hip://www.microso`.com/web/post/web-­‐development-­‐101-­‐using-­‐webmatrix   hip://www.microso`.com/web/planorm/framework.aspx   I’d  like  to  learn  to   hip://www.microso`.com/web/downloads/planorm.aspx   program  in  ASP.NET     hip://www.microso`.com/web/hos4ng/home   I’m  looking  for  a  hos2ng   hip://www.microso`.com/web/hos4ng/Hos4ngProvider/Details/465   provider   hip://www.microso`.com/web/hos4ng/Hos4ngProvider/Details/276   (and  other  specific  hos4ng  provider  pages)   ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  31. 31. What  Terminal  Does  Alaska  Fly  Into  LAX?   Audience Conversion Event Motivator Non-Member Provide Correct Information and Visitor Goal Make Passenger Happy Member Provide Correct Information Be alerted if there’s a gate change Sign up for Alerts or delay Rank Page Content Conversion and Search And Display (Audience Need) Motivation©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  32. 32. Sign up for an alert on your phone if the gate changes or the flight is delayed!©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  33. 33. Things  To  Remember  When     Designing  Each  Page   What  is  the  goal  of  this  page?   For  the  searcher?  For  your  organiza=on?     Does  the  page  func2on  as  the  entry  of  the  site?   Is  the  organiza=on  and  site  purpose  obvious  at  a  glance?     Does  the  page  clearly  help  searcher  accomplish  task?   Searchers  have  lots  of  other  search  results!     Does  the  page  compel  conversion?   What’s  the  call  to  ac=on?  33 ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  34. 34. Set  Metrics   §  Segment  search  analy4cs  by  cluster  so  you  can  monitor   engagement  and  conversion  metrics  for  each  separately.   §  Use  market  opportunity  calcula4ons  for  very  rough  calcula4ons   of  the  traffic  you  should  expect  based  on  keyword  volumes.   §  Monitor  this  over  4me  (if  you  are  gesng  the  rankings  you   expect,  are  you  gesng  the  subsequent  traffic).    34 ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  35. 35. Tamara  Adlin  |  @tamaraadlin   Vanessa  Fox                |  @vanessafox  |   ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  36. 36. Erez  Barak,  Op2fy    »  Erez  Barak  is  Vice  President  of  Products  and  Co-­‐ Founder  at  Op4fy;    »  Frequent  speaker  at  industry  events.    »  Prior  to  Op4fy,  Erez  was  a  director  of  product   marke4ng  in  HP s  So`ware  business  unit.  »  He  was  recently  named  among  the  Top  25   Innovators  in  2010  by  Seaile  Business  Magazine.   ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  37. 37. Five  Steps  to  Using  Search  Personas   »  Know  Your  Audience   »  Understand  Audience  Pain   Points   »  Provide  Real  Solu2ons   »  Be  Compelling   »  Know  Your  Data    ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  38. 38. ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  39. 39. Step  1:  Know  Your  Audience   »  Iden2fy  target  audience  most  likely  to  turn  into  customers     »  Ask  yourself:  Whos  my  perfect  buyer?      ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  40. 40. Step  1:  Know  Your  Audience     Example:  Segmenta4on  by  Nielsen   Source:©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  41. 41. Step  1:  Know  Your  Audience     Example:  Segmenta4on  by  Nielsen  ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  42. 42. Step  2:  Understand  Audience  Pain  Points   »  Understand  Your  Audiences  Pain  Point(s)  &  Learn  How  They   Search  to  Solve  Them   »  Ask:  How  would  your  target  customer  ar2culate  their  need   for  this  in  terms  of  keywords?  How  do  they  search?  ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  43. 43. Step  2:  Understand  Audience  Pain  Points  Example:  Twiier  Trends   Source:©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  44. 44. Step  2:  Understand  Audience  Pain  Points  Example:   Source:©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  45. 45. Step  3:  Provide  Real  Solu2ons   »  Create  great  content  that’s  well  op2mized  for  search   engines,  but  .  .  .   »  .  .  .  also  meets  the  needs  of  your  target  customer   »  Map  “pain”  keywords  to  “solu2on”  pages    ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  46. 46. Step  3:  Provide  Real  Solu2ons   Example:  Mapping  of  “solu4on”  pages  to  “pain”  keywords  ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  47. 47. Step  3:  Provide  Real  Solu2ons   Example:  Mapping  of  “pain”  keywords  to  ranking  pages  ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  48. 48. Step  4:  Be  Compelling   »  Offer  a  call  to  ac2on  that  compels  the  searcher  to  dive   deeper  into  your  conversion  funnel  ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  49. 49. Step  4:  Be  Compelling   Example:  Landing  Page  Tes4ng   Source:©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  50. 50. Step  5:  Know  Your  Data   »  Regularly  tracking  performance  metrics  that  help  demonstrate   the  efficacy  of  these  campaigns  ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  51. 51. What  do  I  need  to  track  in  Real  Time  ?  »  SEO  Indicators   »  Keyword  Ranks   »  Rank  Trends  over  4me   »  Ranking  in  mul4ple   engines   ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  52. 52. What  do  I  need  to  track  in  Real  Time?    »  Business  Indicators   »  Pageviews   »  Visitors   »  Conversion   »  Revenue   ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  53. 53. Key  Takeaways   »  Use  Search  Personas  to  align  SEO  strategy  with  business   goals   »  Framework  makes  for  easy,  repeatable  process   »  Measurement  in  real  2me  is  key  to  success   »  Rank  isn’t  enough!  Measure  real  business  impact  ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.
  54. 54. More  Resources   •  Full  Recording     h_p://­‐personas-­‐to-­‐boost-­‐search-­‐marke2ng/   •  Other  Op2fy  Webinars   h_p://     •  Online  Marke2ng  Resources   h_p://­‐marke2ng/op2fy-­‐resources/     •  Op2fy  Lead  Genera2on  Blog   h_p://     •  Op2fy  14-­‐day  Free  Trial   h_p://­‐up    ©2011 Third Door Media, Inc.